low upkeep costs. parts are cheep, alot of cargo room, good head and body room. Can fit two adults and car seat in same row and still have moving around room, no other mid-sized van has that. 8 passenger spaces with luggage for 8 people inside the van. Can fit 8' 2x4 on floor and 10' on top of dash with all doors closed. 4'x8' plywood fits inside with doors closed.
This is my 2nd Safari. My husband is driving the other one now. It's a 1996 and I liked it so much I bought another one. It's all wheel drive and available cargo space gives it more bang for the buck compared to other mini vans or suv's when price does matter.
The GMC Safari is no bargain for your money. Its "old - school" exterior design has people guessing whether your driving a brand new van. In fact they have made very little exterior changes to the Safari/Astro van since 1996. Its clunky and boxy style adds to increased "top heavyness" when driving in windy conditions. The interior of the Safari is almost as bland as the exterior. With the bare minimum avaliable in features, again, makes you feel like your driving a 1996 Safari van rather than a 2003-04. One of the only high points that I have found this van to have is above average interior- space.
No it's not sexy or sporty but this is a great vehicle for anyone that plans to put a lot of miles on it. The ride on rough roads is a little truck-like - not punishing, mind you, but not as good as car based minivans. Highway ride is very good though. My wife shows dogs and a standard mini-van was too small and she didn't want a full size van. She has found the Safari to be just right. Have over 150,000 miles on our first one with virtually no problems - most reliable vehicle we've ever had (yes, we had a Toyota and a Nissan...not bad vehicles but not Nirvana either). One additional note, the Safari gets surprisingly good mileage.